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Comment What's so great about the free market? (Score 1) 411

Forcing a company to ship its competitors with its own product is ridiculous and anti-capitalism.

Forcing MS to give consumers a choice on browsers is pro-consumer, pro-competition, and good for web standards. It may fly in the face of Capitalist thinking, but Europe makes no such hypocritical pretenses. Like the USA, they are social democracies with mixed economies. Unlike the USA, they are not so ashamed of it they feel compelled to lie or pretend otherwise. Of chief concern there is the effect on the citizens (not the consumers mind you) and not of the large corporation that may lose a concept as insidious as mindshare.

Some people have adopted this crazy idea that there is supposed to be balanced competition at all times, enforceable by the government.

I, on the other hand, have noted that many people have begun to worship the invisible hand of the market. I used to be one such person, when I believed that capitalism was a more efficient system of distributing resources. I was a capitalist because I thought it worked best. Recent evidence has shown that a measured form of rights-based socialism, as is enjoyed in the majority of the EU member states produces healthier economies and higher standards of living. So, if socialism works demonstrably better, why are so many still convinced capitalism is somehow better or sacred or holy? I think it is because many people, at least in the US, combine the concept of the invisible hand and god. If you are prone to flights of fancy, and are told the principles and forces of the market are directed by an invisible hand, well, god is invisible isn't he? That must include his hands. Who else has large enough hands to steer the entire economy?

My point is, the hand of the market is not benevolent, it is a metaphor. The hand of the market refers to the collective wisdom of those involved in the game of finance. For other examples of collective wisdom see controversial pages on wikipedia, digg, and the implosion of the mortgage and credit industries.

Comment An American Says... (Score 2, Insightful) 397

Sure, its a several step process however.

Discover a place to call your own, or just take one over.

Generally, if you are wondering if you have discovered something, you can tell by all the people NOT there already. This is, of course, not universally true, but a decent indicator and certainly the best starting point.

Make sure you bring a bunch of incredibly brave smart people with you who can later be vilified by the left and have their honor questioned by a bunch of people 235 years later

Historical context is fun. It can excuse some pretty neat things like Jefferson and Washington owning slaves. I mean, slavery is wrong, but everyone was doing it (same reason I started smoking). I once heard it said that the reason we deify the Founding Fathers in America, and indeed the reason that all great revolutionaries are honored as such, is that the governments they give birth to inevitably want people to think that leading a revolution isn't something just anyone can do. It requires a superman.

who's idea of honor is taking the money everyone makes and having it disappear in a huge bureaucracy, then complaining that they don't have enough money to spend so they can increase your taxes again.

Yes, that is exactly the morally and rational framework for the modern social democracy as first described by the high priest Marx in his best seller, Sluts for Bureaucracy: A Cataloging of My Most Bizarre Fetish. It has nothing to do with a preoccupation with ensuring equality, or that unrestrained economic liberties will eventually encroach upon some, or the inherently cancerous nature of the free market which cannot help but bread oligarchy, or even just the simple notion that we can do better than the natural cycle of boom and bust. The entire rational fabric for a control economy is bureaucracy and higher taxes TO SPITE YOU PERSONALLY.

Move there, get fed up, throw a bunch of tea in a harbor somewhere.

Almost get your butt kicked, but later have several of those smart brave people kick it into second gear and get help from a country who later will wave white flags when being invaded, so you can help them get their freedom at that time.

I stand in awe of the mental gymnastics required to 1) acknowledge France's roll in the American Revolution, 2) credit the founding supermen with the that particular success, and 3) remind everyone that the French are cheese eating surrender monkeys who would be nothing without us, and all in a single sentence!

Run the English off your land and become the new land of the free. The US sure isn't any longer. A series of socialist president, a warmonger president, and a Marxist president have a tendency to do away with freedom.

I remember that period of socialist presidents, marked by a series of large and powerful business interests being nationalized by the US government ( who can forget Carters seizure of Exxon Mobile, or Clinton nationalizing Microsoft), and of course Bush is the warmonger, but even my prodigious facility in the realm of sarcasm cannot deign to describe Obama as a Marxist. Have you ever even read Marx? Marxists don't run for office, they start violent revolutions of the proletariat! I am NOT kidding, Marx's whole philosophy is that progress occurs only in the struggle of class against class.

Let me know when you are done, if its free the way the US use to be, I'll move there.

Free like America was when? in the 1700's when our nation was born under the compromise that black people are roughly 3/5ths as human as white people? In the early 1800's when it was nearly torn apart over whether or not it was wrong to own black people? In the later half of the 1800's, when the slaves where free but didn't dare cross Jim Crowe? Maybe it was in the 1900's, the 10's when America was divided up by massive corporations, the 20's when their hubris reigned supreme, the 30's when we embraced the New Deal welfare program, the 40's when we were at war, our glory days fighting in Europe, the 50's when the military industrial complex dictated foreign policy, or did you think we were genuinely afraid of the Soviets? Maybe we were free in the 60's during the race riots and the war protests, or maybe it wasn't until the 70's when marijuana was made illegal, Watergate made the news, and Nixon bombed Laos. Surely we were free in the 80's, with Reagan in the White House and the Contra in Iran and the fall of the Soviet Union. Maybe we were finally free then, although we were told to just say no and taught that the police were at their finest when they bent or broke the rules to capture degenerate criminals. I'm sure it couldn't have been during the 8 years Clinton was in office, and Obama is Bush: now in a sleeker, blacker model!

If you remember nothing else from my post remember that I said this: I once heard it said that the reason we deify the Founding Fathers in America is that the government they give birth to wants people to think that leading a revolution isn't something just anyone can do. Anyone can write the next Common Sense, invite delegates to a convention, draft a letter of complaints against the government, or pick up arms in defense of freedom. Jefferson owned slaves, but he also once said that the tree of liberty must be occasionally watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants alike. He also said we should hold the revolution again every 20 - 50 years. America has been called the Great Experiment. Don't let nationalists cloak themselves in the flag and pine for the glorious freedoms of yesteryear; it never was. When you accept that, you know the truth, but it isn't until you believe it can never be that way that the experiment is over.

So you say you want a revolution...?

Comment Cannabis (Score 1) 709

Marijuana is, or was at the time, a Mexican term for the smokable bud of the cannabis plant. When the public campaign to criminalize pot was going on, those behind the push sought to associate it with Mexican Immigrants and Jazz Musicians (read: black people), because we all know what blacks and Mexicans really want: to fuck our pure white daughters. An interesting fact to consider: when the sticky-icky was outlawed, most Americans had no idea that cannabis, the wonder plant that had produced necessary fibers since colonial days and served as the parchment on which our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written and the fibers from which the first flag was woven, was the same plant as marijuana, the devil weed from south of the border that makes good young men into murderers and innocent young ladies into sex starved jazz fans.

So, those who brought the term into popular American usage were certainly racists, and I think that was the GP's point. However, as George Carlin said, there are no bad words only bad ideas or actions. Words are neutral.

Comment You're a troll, and I oughtn't waste my time, but (Score 1) 709

Use != abuse. Drug abuse is the use of a drug to the point at which it endangers self or others, or interferes with the tasks of daily life. Since oxycodone is an opiate, and therefore is highly addictive and causes painful withdrawal, it is likely be abused by a high percentage of users. Cannabis is not chemically addictive, although sustained use can be psychologically habit forming. Even so cannabis has no withdrawal effects.

Comment Speaking as a political science major... (Score 1) 379

The left-right political spectrum is not so useful given the diversity and disparity of modern political systems. Socialism and Fascism are in no conceivable way incompatible. They are not opposites. Indeed the peculiar character of true socialism lends itself startlingly well to fascist ideals.

Fascism is the political ideology that states society is at its strongest, and ergo its best, when all people work together. There is an old Roman metaphor that people are like twigs, scattered on the ground they may be easily trampled, but bound tightly together in a bundle they are strong and may resist outside threats. Fascism tends to marginalize minority opinions, and are known to promote nationalism or racism as fundamental to societal unity. Fascist states also tend to be preoccupied with fear of citizen uprisings, and often employ propaganda and domestic surveillance to ensure a population remains within a docile-supportive range.

Socialism is an economic system whereby the government takes ownership of the means of production. The means are then leased back to the people with the oversight of government to ensure the best use of a society's resources. Socialism may either give the means of control over to a democratic body that takes the opinions of the people into account when planning the economy, or to a body like the Communist Party in Soviet Russia, a fascist group if ever there was one.

Fascism = one party, or as the Germans so eloquently put it: Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!

Socialism = the government owns the means of production, all citizens are government workers

Marx said that after capitalism gorged itself into ruination, it would be replaced by socialism. In other words, the people would rise up and regulate the economy to avoid a society in which the creation of a bourgeois class was institutionally inevitable. His description was an oversimplification, with the government outright owning the means of production rather than merely regulating corporate practice, of what is going on in modern day Europe.

Marx said nothing about the structure of the government that would own the means of production, the notion of a uniform Communist Party was an addition made by Lenin and, to a greater extent, Stalin. It is from Stalin that we get the concept of "political correctness," which is Joe's day meant the most rigorous and logical interpretation or application of the writings of Marx and other Communist dogma.

Anyway, poli-sci lecture over, I just want to attempt to clarify the essential truth you have hit upon with more precise language.

Fanaticism may dress in many different suits, but it always smells like bullshit.

Comment Re:Usefulness limited? (Score 1) 191

How can you question the president in such a time of crisis? What, do you want the terrorists to win you fascist, hippie-hating, racist, ultra right-wing, America hater? Why do you hate America so much? What has America ever done to you? /sarcasm

Seriously though, this kind of reality distortion usually only shows up around the CEO's of certain fruit companies. Has it occurred to you that hoping for Obama's failure will effect you at least as adversely as it will effect the President? More specifically, do you want the economic collapse to continue, or maybe its that you want a breakdown of security that leads to more terrorist attacks, or perhaps you wish further destabilization in Pakistan so Al Qaeda can finally get their hands on some nukes, or do you just wish America's prestige in the global community would continue to erode? How is it exactly that you wish Barack Obama would fail?

Comment Re:Bloody hell! (Score 1) 468

"you'll look like sloppy to the people who do."

This should either read:

"You'll look sloppy to the people who do."


"You'll look like a(n) [insert derogative] to the people who do."

"Remember that you're penning/typing your message not for yourself but for others to read, you should at least be respectful of the people reading and proof your own work."

This should read as follows: "Remember that you're penning/typing your message not for yourself, but for others to read; you should at least be respectful of the people reading and proof your own work. It could also be two sentences, divided at the semicolon; this is possible because it has two complete clauses.

Finally, you made a typo in your latest post. I have corrected it in bold.

It's not high and mighty, it is simply paying attention to the details.

I am reminded of something Caesar Augustus said in a letter to (I think it was) Cicero. I cannot remember the exact quote (either the Latin I read it in or the direct translation) but it was to this effect: Those who emphasis perfect grammar over accessibility have lost sight of the purpose of communication. Everyone makes mistakes. You should still try to be right, but know that you are not perfect either, so try to be understanding when others make mistakes.

Oh, and I always mix up affect and effect. Anyone know if I used it correctly? ;-)

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